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The Building of Waterloo Bridge ?Enlarge image

The Building of Waterloo Bridge ?, c. 1810-1817

Thomas Rowlandson
British, 1756 - 1827
pen and brown ink with watercolour over graphite on wove paper, laid down on grey mounting board
22.6 x 33.1 cm
Purchased 1925
National Gallery of Canada (no. 3236)

Pedestrians negotiate a precarious walkway to avoid the mess of construction (perhaps for Waterloo Bridge, begun in 1810). The situation allowed Rowlandson to indulge his taste for the naughty: while other gentlemen help ladies with their footing, one old man helps himself to a glimpse up the skirt of a woman who has taken a tumble in front of him.

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